Truck clips utility pole, causes power outages

2 08 2007
Thursday, August 2, 2007

CLIFTON — Impatience is what caused parts of the city to sink into darkness on Wednesday night.

A tractor-trailer operator tried to pass a motorist at about 4:37 p.m. who had stopped to make a left turn onto Twain Place from Clifton Avenue and ended up clipping a utility pole instead, Deputy Chief Kevin McCarthy of the Clifton Fire Department said. Live power lines then crashed onto the very car that the driver of the tractor-trailer was attempting to pass, he said.

The motorist, who was not injured in the accident, was trapped inside her vehicle for about 20 minutes as Public Service, Gas and Electric crews worked to cut the power, McCarthy said.

The crash also destroyed an electrical transformer, according to John Senkewicz, a PSE&G spokesman. Power was cut to several locations in town, including City Hall and the 911 emergency call center, McCarthy said.

The blown transformer also leaked a “significant” amount of non-toxic oil, which a private contractor was scheduled to clean up Wednesday night. Power was restored before the end of the evening.

It was not clear Wednesday night if police issued the tractor-trailer driver a summons in the accident.

— Ed Beeson

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